10 Tech Products We Lost in 2013:RIP Google Reader and Winamp
HTC First (a.k.a. the Facebook Phone)
In April 2013, Facebook decided to expand its efforts in mobile with its new Android app launcher, Facebook Home. Although Facebook Home works on other Android devices, it debuted alongside the HTC First, a mid-level smartphone aimed at the average smartphone users.
Unfortunately for Facebook, both Facebook Home and the HTC First landed with a resounding thud. Although Facebook Home still exists, HTC axed the HTC First just months after its release, giving it the shortest smartphone life cycle since the failed Microsoft Kin.IMAGE: MASHABLE NINA FRAZIER
Apple iPhone 5
In September 2013, Apple released not one but TWO new iPhone devices: The iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C.
Aside from its colorful casing, the iPhone 5C is essentially an iPhone 5 with a better front-facing camera. As a result, Apple removed the iPhone 5 from its lineup. Interestingly, the iPhone 4S is still around.IMAGE: MASHABLE NINA FRAZIER
Before iTunes, there was Winamp, the original modern digital music player app. For those of us in the Napster generation, Winamp was our first computer jukebox, thanks to its ability to play back CDs, MP3 files and the ability to customize its interface with skins.
AOL, which purchased Winamp and its parent company Nullsoft in 1999, announced that it is shuttering the website, mobile app and desktop player in December.
Winamp, we salute you.IMAGE: NULLSOFT/WINAMP WINAMP
In the summer of 2011, Turntable.fm launched as a way for users to share music with one another by taking turns at virtual turntables and spinning tracks for a virtual audience.
These D.J.-run chat rooms were the big new thing that summer, but like many Internet fads (Chatroulette anyone?), the records on Turntable.fm started to skip.
In Novevember 2013, Turntable.fm announced that it will be shutting down its consumer-facing service, instead focusing primarily on “Turntable Live,” its product for letting bands and artist perform and broadcast live to fans across the globe.
Turntable.fm as you knew it will cease to exist as of Dec. 2, 2013.IMAGE: FLICKR CHRISTOPHER CARFI
In June 2013, MySpace unveiled its flashy relaunch. The new MySpace has a big focus on music (and Justin Timberlake) and looks almost nothing like the social network most of us actively used in the mid-2000s.
Unfortunately, when the new MySpace made its official debut, it also meant that all vintage MySpace content ceased to exist. That means that photos, blog entries, comments and messages from before June 2013 no longer exist.
The worst part? MySpace didn’t give users (or the Internet Archive) a warning that the big refresh was coming, meaning many users were left blind-sided when their memories just disappeared.
MySpace has made it possible for users to recover their old blogs and photos — but the MySpace as we used it is gone.
Given how poorly the new MySpace has performed, it’s possible the service might find its way onto our list again in 2014.IMAGE: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
In July 2013, Yahoo officially shut down AltaVista.com.
A classic web portal/search engine from the glory days of web 1.0, AltaVista was purchased by Yahoo in 2003.
The fact that Yahoo kept the site around for a decade after launch says a lot about how Yahoo was run over the last 10 years. Danny Sullivan wrote a great eulogy for AltaVista, sharing the history of the once-great service.IMAGE: ALTAVISTA DAILTYTECH.COM
Lavabit and Silent Circle
When Edward Snowden needed to use encrypted email to communicate with Glen Greenwald and others, he allegedly used the encrypted and secure email service Lavabit.
In August 2013, Lavabit’s founder shut the service down, rather than comply with federal requests to hand over data about its users.
Encrypted email service Silent Circle followed suit (even though it wasn’t under any direct government requests).IMAGE: LAVABIT SCREENSHOT
In 2006, Google launched Google Checkout in a bid to compete with PayPal in the world of online payments and transactions.
In spite of the Google name, the service never gained widespread traction outside of Google-related offerings. In 2011, Google Checkout was merged with Google Wallet as a way for users to make and accept payments over the web.
In May, Google announced it was shutting down the payment processing side of Google Checkout for everything except for Google Play transactions.
With Google Checkout and Google Wallet, the search giant has failed to find a way to really succeed in the world of payments. Meanwhile. PayPal, Stripe, Braintree and Square continue to prove that there is a lot of potential in the online payments space.IMAGE: GOOGLE HTTP://WWW.PARCEL2GO.COM/BLOG/GOOGLE-WITHDRAWS-GOOGLE-CHECKOUT/
O.K., so maybe Blockbuster Video isn’t a “traditional” gadget or tech service, but it’s one indelibly attached to the psyches of Mashable readers (and employees) everywhere.
Dish, the company that now owns Blockbuster, announced that it was shuttering the remaining 300 Blockbuster stores by Jan. 2014 and shutting down the DVD-by-mail service.
Instead, Blockbuster will be just another Netflix competitor.
To the generations of movie lovers who discovered their favorite films in the aisles of Blockbuster Video stores and to anyone who ever had to fight with a credit agency to remove that late fee for Requiem For a Dream from her report, let’s toast the big Blue and Yellow together.IMAGE: DAVID FRIEDMAN/STRINGER/GETTY IMAGES
In March 2013, Google announced that it was killing off Google Reader, the most popular RSS reader and sync service in the world.
Although Google cited “lack of general interest” in keeping Google Reader around, the death of the product opened up a market of sorts for Google Reader alternatives.IMAGE: FLICKR, NYUHUHUU